Faith Job Requirements
Are you a good fit for a faith-based job?
The fact that you are interested in obtaining faith-oriented employment may be a good indicator that you are a fit for this career path.
The bigger question may be which job, rather than if you should pursue one. Each job requires different skills and comes with its own set of challenges. However, as mentioned before, one overriding factor that must be in place is a strong faith. Whether you are thinking of becoming a member of clergy or simply continuing your current occupation for a faith-based employer, a guiding, well-practiced faith must be a big part of your life.
Members of Clergy
All faiths include a leader or coordinator of some kind, whether that is a priest, elder, pastor, rabbi, cantor, or director. These positions make up the clergy. In addition, some faiths also hire music directors, youth leaders, and similar personnel who are also considered part of the clergy. Members of clergy are expected to do more than just lead the congregation in worship. They are also expected to perform pastoral care and direct the spiritual growth and understanding of the congregants. This means two things: you will be working closely with people, and you will be called to work at odd hours of the day or night. For this reason, clergy members should not just have a strong faith, but a genuine desire to help others. Clergy members should also have strong communication and leadership skills. And when it comes to those odd hours, if you are the kind of person that likes structure, a routine, and set work hours, you may want to reconsider this career path. Clergy members must be able to get to a hospital or congregant’s home when an emergency arises, even if it is in the middle of the night. Patience is also a much needed characteristic for these employees.
Many clergy members are expected to have or obtain advanced educational degrees, such as a master’s degree in Theology, or in the Jewish faith, attend a Jewish theological school or seminary.
Requirements for Other Faith-based Jobs
In addition to clergy positions, there are a multitude of jobs available.
Some of the more prevalent jobs include camp directors and counselors, ministry and mission directors, faith-based non-profit organization leaders and workers, licensed counselors, chaplains at hospitals, prisons, and other establishments, and teachers.
As you read through this list (and it certainly isn’t an exhaustive one), the common element of each job is that it is a “people” job: each worker will be working closely with clients and other constituents on a daily basis. If you are not a “people person” it does not mean you should not obtain a faith-based job. It simply means you’ll either need to develop your people skills, or look harder for a different kind of faith-based job that is not as people-intensive. For example, if you love working with numbers and have experience as an accountant, you can choose to become an accountant for a ministry, church, or non-profit organization or school. However, for the vast majority of religious jobs, you’ll need to have good people and communication skills, and be able to get along well with many kinds of people. If this does not describe you, a faith-based career may not be for you.